c3 church davenport

Mission One recap & moving forward

A quick recap of mission one. The good, the bad, and the ugly. And what you can do to help.

It’s raining outside and feels like 400% humidity as I write this recap of our first stop. The thunderstorm is far enough out to be subtle and relaxing. It’s been a good month. Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly of Davenport.

The Good:

Part of our traveling strategy involves finding a church to tie into early when we arrive. I wrote earlier about the first church we attended and how that didn’t work out so well. You can read about it here if you like.

The second church, however, has a special spot in our hearts now. C3 is a small church down here that meets in a local school in Champions Gate. The pastor and the believers here are amazing people who love the Lord and love life. These people have a ‘togetherness’ about them that testifies to their faith and love of Jesus.

The people of this church welcomed us warmly and took us in as one of their own. You’ve likely seen some previous posts with Elizabeth and the girls holding babies, a great church picnic, and us playing games in their homes. In just a few weeks, we have grown to love them.

The starting of C3 is quite remarkable, filled with trials and God’s fingerprints of provision all over it. I don’t have enough time to get into all the details but know that God is building a church for himself here. A church that relies on Him and each other. Tony, the pastor here, and his wife Coti have done a fantastic job being obedient and following God’s directions.

Along with C3 church, we have seen a beautiful piece of God’s creation down here. The various palm trees, jungle-like forests, gorgeous beaches, and spectacular ocean waters all testify to God’s creativity and self.

The Bad:

Our initial strategy for connecting to people didn’t work out so well. The reason is mainly due to the transient nature of the area. Most of the people in the Champions Gate area only stay for a few days. They come in and party very hard for a couple of nights, then leave. Their pace is breakneck and doesn’t allow much opportunity for conversation or witnessing.

Because of this pace, our family changed strategies and started targeting the workers and the locals here. This shift in strategy landed some successful opportunities to spread the Gospel and be Jesus’s boots on the ground. These opportunities included praying for and with others, explaining the Gospel to some, and being a good listener.

Another ‘bad’ is that this area has very few churches. It’s a little bit baffling that an area with so many people in it (seriously, getting on I-4 is horrible) could have so few churches. Again this is because of the transient nature of the area. Most people are coming to vacation and Disney. Unbelievers aren’t likely to attend church while on vacation, and even believers rarely attend either. When believers do attend, they are usually ‘taking’ from the church more than giving. They don’t pick up and join in any of the work. Their attendance to the local church uses up the church’s limited resources (children’s care/ministry, etc.) and doesn’t put anything back in. And unfortunately, they rarely tithe to the local churches either.

The Ugly:

Champions Gate is beautiful with great homes, waterparks, and weather. Unfortunately, it’s getting trashed. I mean that literally. There is trash everywhere you look. It goes from the front door to the parking lot. There is far more crime and violence in the last year than the area has ever had. Before the COVID shutdowns, Champions Gate was primarily filled with European vacationers and people with higher incomes. The shutdowns have kept these people from coming over. The result is the companies that own these homes have had to lower the prices and standards to keep them occupied.

The majority of the vacationers we have seen in this area are coming into the 4-8 person home/condos and bringing multiple families with them. Splitting the cost over all the families involved lowers the price even further for them. They trash the homes during their parties, play and act obscene until all hours of the night, and are pretty terrible if I am speaking honestly.

For example, a family just a block away partied so hard that everyone passed out and left their two-year-old child outside. The kid ended up crying at the neighbor’s patio door. Thankfully they brought him inside until the parents could be reached.

What you can do:

This place needs prayer support. Nothing of importance ever happens apart from prayer. Please pray for the C3 church here. It is said that this is the area ‘where church plants come to die’, but C3 is trailblazing through it. Pray that God will send more workers here. Workers that have a deep desire for seeing the Gospel spread and lives changed. Ask God for workers that are ready to work, and not simply start another country club church.

Pray also the believers in this area would be encouraged, strengthened, and refreshed. Although many tourists come to this area to vacation, it is hard work for the locals to support them. Especially workers in the service industry. They put up with an awful lot of bad attitudes.

Finally, consider sending financial support. I can testify to the authenticity of C3 church because I have been there. They have a big job ahead of them and very little to no outside help. Help support them financially if possible. It’ll be a great eternal investment. You can find out more about them and how to donate here: https://thisisc3.com/

So now we are going to visit some family for a few days and then begin our second mission to Fort Meyers, FL. We love you all and are grateful for your continued prayers for our guidance, success, and protection over our family.

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? – Romans 10:14


4 thoughts on “Mission One recap & moving forward”

  1. Good post Aaron! I agree with everything. C3 has a special place in my heart and we plan to visit again. Love the people and mission here.

  2. You left marks on my heart, specifically your two older daughters. Their love for God and hearts to see and take action to reach others is powerful! Elizabeth you have a tender heart for others too, and made me and my daughter feel welcomed and special. God is using you and I pray as you journey on that He continues to bless you and others through you. Go light the world on fire with your love Singler family! Thank you!

  3. We will miss you all and are so happy you joined us. Your beautiful family were an inspiration. Your love for the Lord is evident in all you do. May God bless you all on your journeys ahead. We look forward to seeing you all again soon. ♥️

  4. Thanks for the info. Our trailer park is about an hour away from Champions Gate and we have actually stayed there before so I found this interesting and actually sad about it’s condition.
    Yes, I-4 is terrible! Rated the deadliest highway in the US like 4 years in a row.
    I have actually seen that the locals, people born and raised in the area, are strong believers but so many people have migrated to Florida things are changing to a more liberal culture.

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